Severe shortage of healthcare workers

California suffers from a severe shortage of healthcare workers in many regions of the state and it would need to invest $ 3,000 million in the next 10 years to address this lack, says a research presented.

The study, conducted by the California Commission on the Future of Health, notes that there is no clear source of resources at this time for the necessary investment.

The co-president of the Commission, Lloyd Dean, stressed that “California leads the nation in expanding access to (health) care,” but it must face the projected shortage if it wants to maintain that leadership.

“We need to address the shortage of primary care providers and other essential health workers if we want these efforts to be successful in the long term,” Dean said.

In addition to urging the Government of California to provide more financial resources, the analysis suggests “creating more centers of medical and psychiatric residency and increasing the number of practicing nurses” among other measures.

Similarly, the Commission proposes increasing scholarships for low-income students who agree to work in the areas most in need and increase both the number and training of workers who provide health care in the homes of patients.

Another solution presented by the study is to implement a database of health care professionals that is “more diverse, culturally and linguistically”, so that it better meets the demographic needs of the Golden State.

In its analysis, the commission notes that the calculated cost is a small proportion of the total budget of California - estimated at 201 billion dollars per year - and that additional resources such as donations, scholarships and federal money could also be sought.

However, according to the report, increasing the number of primary care physicians is a profitable investment, since it prevents the highest costs when patients have to be treated with advanced or urgent health problems.

The report estimates that “an estimated 7 million Californians, most of them Latinos, African-Americans and Native-Americans, live in Health Professionals Scarcity Areas, a federal designation for counties suffering from a shortage of primary, dental and mental health care providers. “ An analysis of the Health Resources Center at the University of California San Francisco estimated in 2017 that California will need about 4,700 primary care physicians by 2025, and that they will not be available with current resources.